Impact of DMF on Engine Performance and Emissions as a New Generation of Sustainable Biofuel

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

2,5-Dimethylfuran (DMF) is likely to become a promising sustainable biofuel with the advent of novel and efficient methods recently developed in the US for making it from biomass, but there is very limited knowledge about its impact on the environment. For the engine community, little is known about its combustion and emission characteristics, especially about the speciation of non-regulated emissions from its combustion in engines. This project aims to investigate the outstanding issues of DMF as base fuel, by the studies through developing and validating the spray, combustion, emissions and engine models and by conducting systematic experiments using advanced methodologies including CFD, optical diagnostics and exhaust gas speciation using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) alongside the on-line GCMS. It is anticipated that this collaborative project will provide a platform for the 3 groups of researchers listed above to work very closely to utilise the unique expertise at each side and contribute to the team work on the basis of much increased communications and information exchange. The know-how acquired in this project will be of direct benefit to the UK and Chinese motor industries and academia. The project outcome will help to increase the market size of British and China's biofuel industries and will thus have impact on the development of the UK and China economy by increasing the opportunities for employment and profitability of agriculture and obviously will contribute to the reduction of carbon footprint of fuels for transportation.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
G. Tian (Author) (2010) Spray characteristics study of DMF using Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer in SAE Technical Papers

publication icon
Hongming Xu (correspondence Author) (2012) Effects of combustion phasing, injection timing, relative air-fuel ratio and variable valve timing on SI engine performance and emissions using 2,5-dimethylfuran in SAE International Journal of Fuels and Lubricants - Electronic Version

publication icon
Wang C (2015) Hydrocarbon and Aldehyde Emissions from Combustion of 2-Methylfuran in Combustion Science and Technology

 
Description Catalytic production methods of converting biomass into furan derivatives, such as 2,5-Dimethylfuran (DMF), have been improved significantly as reported by Nature and Science. Before this biofuel project, there was no knowledge about its application in power systems. This world-first research of DMF at the University of Birmingham has shown that DMF is a promising alternative fuel for automotive engines. Jaguar Land Rover, Shell and Innospec were cooperation partners of this project. This project aimed to investigate the outstanding issues of using DMF as base fuels through developing and validating the spray, combustion, emissions and engine models and conducting systematic experiments using advanced methodologies including CFD, optical diagnostics and exhaust gas speciation using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) alongside the on-line GCMS, and its impact on the environment. The main conclusion is that DMF can be readily used in current gasoline engines without any need of notable hardware modifications. DMF demonstrated the advantages of higher energy density, good anti-knock property, and lower particulate matter emissions. DMF produces less carcinogenic aldehyde emissions in its emissions compared to ethanol under the same engine conditions. It also demonstrates the suitability of DMF as a dual-injection fuel; low blends with gasoline have been shown to be as fuel efficient as gasoline itself, which equates to low engine-out CO2 emissions. The main results of this project have been published in over 30 journals and publications.
Exploitation Route The main conclusion is that DMF can be readily used in current gasoline engines without any need of notable hardware modifications, and its performance is highly comparable with, if not better than that of conventional gasoline. The research outcome has sparked research interests from chemicals company like Innospec, and OEMs like Jaguar Land Rover. Due to the promising results from this project, and support from Innospec and Jaguar Land Rover, funding for a second project of furan-serial fuel project is already secured.
Sectors Energy

URL http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mechanical-engineering/vehicle-technology/future-power/DMF-engine-performance/key-findings.aspx
 
Description The results have attracted the attention of biofuel producers. Four publications on furan fuels from this research work have reached high citations 219, 176, 153,140 respectively showing its high impact in the research community.
Sector Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
 
Description Fuels Quality and Effects on Fuel Injection Equipment and Engine Operation
Amount £542,246 (GBP)
Organisation Jaguar Land Rover 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2015
 
Description Study of Novel Biofuels from Biomass - Methyl-Furans (MF)
Amount £931,604 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N021746/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2019
 
Description Study of Novel Biofuels from Biomass - Methyl-Furans (MF)
Amount £931,604 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N021746/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 04/2019
 
Description Partnership with Key State Lab of IC engines China 
Organisation Tianjin University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Sino-British research fellowship. Royal Society Sponsored international fellow for research on furans as biofuel candidates.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Partnership with Tsinghua University 
Organisation Tsinghua University China
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Tsinghhua University is ranked as no 1 university in China. This project has led to a long term collaboration with Tsinghua. This an International Exchange Programme sponsored by Royal Society and NSFC for 2 years.
Start Year 2012